Republicans and Democrats agree, wasteful spending must be cut, but Democrats say it shouldn’t be done through sequestration. Sequestration official is in effect as of Friday, meaning there will be across-the-board federal spending cuts to the tune of $85 billion. Half will hit the Department of Defense, and half will fall on domestic discretionary spending. Social Security, Medicare and the Veterans Administration are exempt.
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U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) says across-the-board cuts will result in job losses. “The projection is about a loss of 700,000 to 750,000 jobs, a decrease in the growth in the GDP in our country. This is a very dangerous thing to be doing right now,” Schakowsky said. She says the president has already signed into law trillions of dollars in budget cuts.
And while sequestration would give Democrats a chance to cut back considerably the Department of Defense budget, Schakowsky says it’s still not the proper way to go about cutting spending. “We should be cutting a bloated military budget, but we should do it in a smart way,” Schakowsky said. “Should we be doing it in cutting military housing, affecting military families? I don’t think so.”
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), an Iraq war veteran, says while she wants to protect troops on the front lines and make sure they have all the support they need, there are cuts to be made in the Department of Defense. “Independent studies have shown that the Department of Defense wastes about $9 million to $12 million a day in improper contracting,” Duckworth said. She says those funds are needed elsewhere.